The first set of College Football Playoff rankings was released last week, with Ohio State, LSU, Alabama and Penn State occupying the all-important top four spots.
With No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama squaring off in a showdown of SEC powerhouses and No. 4 Penn State facing an undefeated Minnesota team, the rankings were poised for some immediate shuffling at the top, and that's exactly what happened.
Let's start with an updated look at the rankings:
College Football Playoff @CFBPlayoff
@espn @BroncoSportsFB @CowboyFB @NavyFB @KStateFB @AppState_FB @NDFootball @GoBearcatsFB @MemphisFB @TexasFootball @HawkeyeFootball @GatorsFB @AuburnFootball @BUFootball @BadgerFootball @UMichFootball @Utah_Football @GopherFootball @PennStateFball @OU_Football @LSUfootball @OhioStateFB @ClemsonFB @GeorgiaFootball @AlabamaFTBL @oregonfootball Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 25 rankings for games played through November 9. Is your team in? 👀 🏈🏆 https://t.co/dHN2YbhBs2
Perhaps the biggest development is the fact that Alabama is no longer in a playoff slot, falling to No. 5 after their 46-41 loss to LSU on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide's playoff chances have taken a hit, but they're not completely out the running. Here's one take on how they can claw their way back into a top-four spot:
Also slipping out of a playoff spot was Penn State, who fell all the way down to No. 9 after a 31-26 loss to Minnesota. That was much less surprising than the Alabama slide. There was at least a chance the Tide could have held onto the No. 4 spot, but it was clear once they lost that the Nittany Lions were set to slide.
Minnesota jumped up nine spots from No. 17 to No. 8 by staying undefeated with the win over Penn State, while fellow surprise 9-0 team Baylor actually dropped one spot to No. 13 after TCU took them to triple overtime.
The Bears will have a chance to prove to the committee that they deserve to be taken seriously when the host No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday.
There was also some question of whether LSU deserved to leapfrog Ohio State into the No. 1 spot in the rankings, even with their win over Alabama.
After all, Ohio State did nothing to hurt its claim to the No. 1 spot with a 73-14 shellacking of Maryland. The Buckeyes outgained the Terrapins by a staggering 705-139 in yards for another absolutely dominant win.
Nevertheless, it was LSU in the No. 1 spot this time around when the rankings were revealed, with the committee chairman Rob Mullens offering the following explanation:
Scott Rabalais @RabalaisAdv
CFP selection committee Chairman Rob Mullens on #LSU moving to No. 1: We spent some time discussing it. Two great teams at the top. When you look at LSU's resume with win over Alabama on the road, its 4th top 20 win, only team with that. They're deserving of that No. 1 ranking.
On paper, neither team faces much of a challenge this week, with LSU taking on 4-5 Ole Miss and Ohio State squaring off against 2-7 Rutgers. A close game by either team could give the other a slight advantage in the push for the No. 1 spot next week.
Looking further down the rankings, there are once again five Group of Five teams among the Top 25:
Memphis and Cincinnati will go head-to-head in the regular-season finale on Nov. 29, but they need to be careful not to look past South Florida and Temple, respectively, this week.
There's plenty of potential for more shuffling at the top this coming weekend, with Georgia (at No. 12 Auburn), Oklahoma (at No. 13 Baylor) and Minnesota (at No. 20 Iowa) all facing tough opponents.
Who will take the next step toward securing a spot in the College Football Playoff?
We shall see.